From spatial perception to cognitive mapping: how is the flow of information controlled?
Most models of cognitive mapping would suggest that the process begins by constructing some form of a structural representation of the environment visited. From the latter representation, one develops a conceptual view of the environment. The flow of information in the process is almost unidirectional, from perception to conception. In this paper, I argue that this process is inappropriate for a human cognitive mapping process. The latter process should begin with some symbolic notions of places and never needed to construct explicitly a structural representation of the environment visited. Humans' ability to visualise the structural details in a familiar environment comes from the increasingly detailed grounding of its symbols to the real world as a result of familiarisation and attention to details.